The First World War has left long-lasting scars not only in people’s destinies and hearts, but also in a large territory of present-day Latvia and Lithuania, where the so-called fronts were located for several years, including the “Life and Death” line. A complex system of fortifications with ditches, trenches and bunkers was built on both sides of the front line. Thousands of soldiers fought and died in fierce battles here, which is evidenced by the countless burials of fallen soldiers. Many concrete bunkers, impressive cannon and ammunition storages, and endless twists and turns of trenches built by German soldiers have survived to this day in the forests of Demene, Svente and Medumi Parishes of Daugavpils District.
Exhibition which is 113 sq.m. large consists of two thematic blocks. The first part is devoted to the events of the First World War in Europe and Latvia. The visitors can get familiar with the life of soldiers, with the innovations that arose during the First World War, as well as study what weapons were used by the German and Russian Armies. On the other hand, the visitors of the second thematic block have the opportunity to assume the role of a soldier and experience first-hand the everyday life at the bunker. An imitation of a Russian bunker has been created in the hall – a fragment of a trench with a small dugout, war attributes and soldier mannequins. A bunker of the Russian Army has been made because they were built of wood and have not been preserved to this day, while the concrete bunkers of the German Army can be seen in life by visiting the international route through the bunkers of the First World War. Much attention is paid to audio and video equipment in the hall with an imitation of a bunker as it gives visitors the opportunity to feel the atmosphere of the battlefield. Modern design makes the exhibition interesting and easy to understand for different audiences. However, more attention is paid to school-aged children, for whom visiting the exhibition is like a repetition of what they learn in history lessons.
The project is being implemented within the framework of INTERREG V-A Latvia-Lithuania Cross-Border Cooperation Program project LLI-501 “World War I heritage tourism route and expositions for attracting visitors to border area”